About Us

Co-owned by chefs Dale Mailley and Edward Murray, The Gardener’s Cottage is committed to creating and serving excellent food using the best seasonal, local produce while nurturing sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships with the local community and local producers.

With the focus on seasonal cooking and social dining, a 6 course set menu is served in the evenings on long communal dining tables. Lunch is a la carte and brunch is served at the weekends.

The restaurant is housed in an historic building located in Royal Terrace Gardens at the foot of Calton Hill in the heart of Edinburgh World Heritage Site. Originally the cottage for the gardener, the B-listed building was designed by William Playfair and constructed in 1836. The gardens, planned by Playfair, were originally laid out to include a path for the exiled King of France Charles X to walk along on his way from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to church.

The building, which lay empty for several years, required a major overhaul.  Combining his architectural experience with his love of eating with friends, Edward’s objective was to bring together diners and chefs. The outcome is a simple design that makes the most of the limited space while remaining sensitive to the buildings historical and cultural importance.

Dale and Edward first realised that they shared a passion for seasonal food when, as chefs at Edinburgh’s The Atrium, they would regularly visit the local farmers’ market together to buy produce for the kitchen. Between them, Edward and Dale have 15 years of professional restaurant experience – including The Outsider, Blue, The Atrium, Cafe St Honoré and The Kitchin.

They proudly opened the doors to The Gardener’s Cottage in July 2012.

Originally trained as an architect Edward Murray has lived in Edinburgh since his student days. Abandoning architecture for his true calling, Edward has spent the last decade honing his culinary skills. Most recently as head chef for the award-winning bakery and cafe, Falko Konditormeister (Observer Food Producer of the Year 2007) in Bruntsfield. Edward also worked at Blue and The Atrium under 2011 Scottish Chef of The Year Neil Forbes, and at Cafe St Honoré.

Born and raised in Scotland, Dale Mailley has been a chef since the age of 15, and was most recently the executive head chef at the popular Outsider and The Apartment restaurants in Edinburgh. Prior to that Dale was sous chef at The Atrium and worked at Michelin-starred The Kitchin in Leith. His professional stages in London include the two Michelin star The Ledbury and a number of Mark Hix’s restaurants.